Charlie, a three-year-old beagle in Ennis, Co. Clare, became the internet’s newest star this summer.
A video that shows the helpful pup bringing toys and household items to his owners’ five-month-old baby after accidentally making her cry has passed 14 million views on YouTube.
Charlie’s owners, Julia Kolpakova and her partner Daniel Drzewiecki, bought Charlie from a Wicklow farmer three years ago. They noticed his special bond with their baby daughter, Laura Olivia, from early on, and began filming their canine companion as he helped them care for her – rocking her cradle back and forth, and even assisting Julia with diaper changing.
“She smiles when she sees Charlie, we don’t know what she’s thinking but we know she likes him. From the beginning he was beside her all the time. Everyone could still play with her but he would protect her,” Kolpakova told Evoke.ie.
Drzewiecki set up a YouTube channel for Charlie in January of last year, as he began training the smart beagle to complete tasks ranging from helpful (shutting cabinet doors) to amusing (bringing a can of beer and the TV remote straight to the couch). When their daughter was born, it became a way of sharing videos with family in Lithuania and to collecting footage for Laura Olivia to have when she’s older.
Here's Charlie meeting baby Laura for the first time:
Charlie’s YouTube channel currently has over 20,000 subscribers, and his Facebook page is nearing 13,000 likes. His skills are gaining local notoriety too – he recently won the Best Hunt Dog award at the Ennis Dog Show.
Kolpakova and Drzewiecki encourage Charlie’s fans to support the US-based Beagle Freedom Project, which rescues, fosters, and finds forever homes for beagles being used in research labs across the country.
We at IrishCentral think Charlie should team up with Tara the cat to form a task force of the best child guardian pets.
* Originally published in July 2014.